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In one of the most preposterous moves in the history of educating children, an Ohio school district has voted to go to school LESS and the superintendent claims this plan “could save the profession of eduction.”
The North College Hill School District school board voted unanimously Monday to approve a plan that will see children attend school in person four days a week during the 2023-24 calendar year. Students will spend Monday at home, or wherever they end up hanging out, and they’ll be doing “self-directed work” while teachers will have time to do some “collaboration” and “some planning,” according to superintendent Eugene Blalock whose district ranked #597 out of 607 Ohio school districts, according to the state’s evaluation index.
“I think this could be a model that could save the profession of education,” Blalock told Cincinnati TV station WCPO. “Teachers are leaving the profession at alarming rates and the idea of being able to have some time some quality time dedicated time to just get some collaboration some planning is something that is intriguing to the teachers, and it actually has excited and re-ignited my teachers.”
You’re damn right it excited and re-ignited his teachers who will now spend less time providing instruction to students.
“We are all worn out — like the kids are even worn out … I think this Monday will help with that,” third-grade teacher Raven Jackson told the local news station. “Having doctors’ appointments, not having to use our sick time to take those days off. At least we know Mondays we wouldn’t have to worry about having a sub, splitting our classrooms, putting that extra work on our teammates and I think having that Monday for those set times and set appointments would definitely help out.”
So let’s break this down in an easily digestible format:
- Students will go to an actual school building four days a week
- On Mondays, they’ll be expected to do schoolwork at home based on what they’re learning in class
- Less direct instruction from teachers
- Parents can still send their kids to school buildings to do their assigned work “under the watchful eye of staff members.”
- Students can still eat lunch at school
- In other words, Monday for K-8th graders will be one long day of study hall. This should work out real well
Excuse me while I try to figure out who this is helping. The superintendent and the teachers claim this will be great for them.
“This is my hypothesis.. … if teachers are well rested, and if they’re mentally ready to go and they are present in a classroom, then student achievement will go up,” Blalock explained to WLW. “I think this will reignite that fire in our teachers, and they’ll come in here and teach like their hair is on fire.”
Mr. Blalock could have a point here considering there’s nowhere to go but up for a school district that gets a one-star rating for “Graduation” on the state report card released by the Ohio Department of Education.
Look at the “Early Literacy” category.
Just 37.1% of third-grade students in the North College Hill School district scored proficient on the 2021-22 reading segment of the state English language arts test.
Now, I’m not a moron here. Blalock has a problem recruiting teachers to work in his district and this would be a huge recruiting tool. Don’t take my word for it. Take his.
“For our district, we struggle with hiring and retaining teachers. Also, it’s tough to get substitute teachers,” the boss explained to WLW.
Hey teachers, come work at this district. You’ll have time on Monday to *wink, wink* go to doctor’s appointments.
What the hell are we doing here, folks?
In 2021, Education Week reported that the 4-day school week being used in some parts of the United States has been “enormously popular among parents and students” while noting that students were typically “working, doing errands, or spending time with family,” on the day off.
Oh, and the students at four-day-a-week schools “saw slower rates of student progress.”
It gets even worse for society as a whole.
According to an Education Week report from February, an urban district in Denver that went to a four-day week had its student academic achievement fall “significantly” and retention rates for teachers dropped by 3% and it was 5% points lower for veteran teachers with 15 or more years in the game compared to five-day-a-week schools.
And home values dropped in districts where students attended school four days a week.
Good luck to Blalock, the North College Hill teachers and their burnout and the parents who will now try to figure out what they’re going to do with their kids.
Let’s see how this works out.